We’ve made it to that weekend in October when art fairs dominate and take over both the North and the East with an abundance of painters, designers and a fair few eccentrics to brighten your day. For the past few years I’ve opted for that big ol’ one where the ‘masters’ hang out and have been impressed but suitably intimidated by both the atmosphere and the astronomical pricing. Hence the enthusiasm when Natasha kindly sent over details of Moniker Art Fair – a show already in its seventh year and well known for shaking things up a little in the art world.
Set in the industrial landscape of The Old Truman Brewery, the fair joins forces with The Other Art Fair to bring a slightly more urban approach to contemporary art as well as an opportunity for some more emerging designers to present their work to aficionados of the art community. Focusing on technology, this year the fair has a variety of interactive installations and playful setups to allow visitors to be carefree and open with their experience, all in all making for a less conservative approach to art. With diversity and innovation seemingly at the heart of the show, I thoroughly enjoyed my own visit and rejoiced in the overwhelming graphic influences that lots of the artists seemed to have – of course Walala was there to head it all up and provide the art for one of the entrances. I’ll be without a doubt there next year too but for now you can either visit today or check out my own five highlights below. Let me know your favourites too!
1 // Digital Playground by MASER Art
Having previously previewed the installation via Instagram (thanks Natasha) I was excited to discover this 18-metre ‘playground’ for myself. Bright colours, thick graphic lines and optical illusion galore, this really was a visual pleaser for me and if it wouldn’t have been rude to ask everyone to go away, I would have. As well as the spinning wheels and climbable 3D boxes, the piece can also be interacted with via the Moniker Art Fair app for digital bonuses. Is this too much for a wall in my house?
2 // Strata by Nic Parnell
With a geology book as reference, Parnell has created a very unique project centred around the sedimentary layers found in the real world. While the marble lovers amongst us may instantly be drawn to the delicate colouring and intricate patterns, the story goes deeper here and once you start thinking of each colour as a formation you’ll be lost in the work for a rather long time. Having listened to Nic talk about his own process I was in awe – each piece takes roughly five weeks to complete and the journey involves numerous layers and a rather experimental slice through the material at the end. The resulting piece is a surprise for all and I urge you to follow Nic to discover all the exciting plans he has to help show you this.
3 // Art on a Postcard
Always intrigued by a good charity project, Art on a Postcard was an amazing discovery and one that I’ll be keeping a close eye on for future developments. Raising funds for The Hepatitis C Trust, the organisation runs an annual secret postcard auction and ‘postcard lotteries’ which occur throughout the year and involve a variety of well-known artists contributing their work to the cause. I spotted the wonderful Daisy Emerson, Doodleman and more in just the above section alone so one can only imagine where the likes of Peter Blake, Gilbert & George and Harland Miller were hiding. Sign up for updates or enter the lottery via their site now.
4 // George by Olly Fathers
‘George’ was someone I was attracted to instantly and legged it across the room to get a closer look. Something about that grid like appearance paired with 3D geometric shapes and paint drips had me at hello and wanting to know more. Considering himself as a little bit of a town planner, Fathers starts with a blank canvas and the shapes to place on it. His city building begins with the layout of these geometric forms which ultimately then determines the obstruction for the paint where a multitude of colours are used. “I am not always fond of all colour combinations on a work such as ‘George’. However much like a city, there are always areas you enjoy more than others. These zones cannot be planned,” states Fathers.
|Image courtesy of Archie Proudfoot
|5 // Archie Proudfoot
Always a firm favourite of mine, Archie Proudfoot has brought his signage A-game to Shoreditch with his selection of reverse glass-guilded slogans and phrases. Proudfoot’s work has always been somewhat aspirational to me, with ‘Too Bad’ and ‘Girl’ firmly on my “when I’m rich” list and his giclée prints always on the birthday agenda. I’ve also discovered he know does a ‘You Win’ pin so be the first to get in on the Proudfoot strong pin game action. Please someone give this chap a community mural space!